You’ve opened your eyes and found yourself in Columbus, Ohio–whether for the first night in your life or for the four thousand, eight hundred and forty-third. You’re thirsty, and the idea of hanging out in something other than a chair in front of a television is appealing. Meeting up with some friends (or making some new ones) while catching a local band’s live performance sounds like a good time, too. But where to go? Where to go . . .
Larry’s: Hands down, this is the best little dive bar in town. Columbus Alive readers agree, and rated it “Best Dive Bar” in 2001. Serving up the juice since the end of prohibition back in the early 20th century, this place has history, a prime location, and they make a great White Russian – The Dude definitely abides (The Big Lebowski, of course). If you’re lucky, you’ll even get to catch “Batman” Don – a regular and celebrated patron with a passion for singing the occasional Batman theme song with local bands when they perform on Saturday nights.
Andyman’s Tree House: Hard to find and harder to leave (so true, it became the bar motto), this newer bar has one thing your average watering hole doesn’t: a huge tree growing through the middle of it! Smokers love this place because it is exempt from the Columbus city smoking ban; music lovers dig it because they have music at least four nights a week. Social drinkers and alcoholics alike swear by their happy bar staff and stiff drinks, and local musicians love to play there.
Skully’s: This bar features a great weekly line-up. Skully’s, a diner and bar combo, covers your entertainments needs Mondays through Saturdays, including “Alternative Ladies Eighties” on Thursdays, and an all out disco dancing haven on Saturdays. Live music on Wednesdays and Fridays bring in the crowds, too, as this venue has a great stage area.
The Ravari Room: If you like pizza and variety in your music, this is your place. The Ravari Room and Hound Dog’s Pizza (located next door) are about a mile north of the OSU campus, on High Street. Lots of local bands roll through this bar’s doors, keeping the mix eclectic; Doctah X, a favorite local DJ, plays the Ravari Room on Sunday nights, giving you something else to do, instead of dread Monday.
Dick’s Den: Local jazz hounds love this place, as do people just looking for a good drink and banter with some regular Joes. Dick’s Den is located on High Street in the north campus area. This bar tends to cultivate regulars, serving up good drink specials and live music, Thursday through Sunday. If you’re looking for a place to hang out and watch the game, this is definitely it.
Columbus is a large town and has lots of high dollar, big name entertainment to offer; but the best bars in town are some of the smallest and oldest, offering local flavor and character along with great entertainment to people that want to have a good time. Check out the local Columbus papers to see what is going on at these bars and others in the area, each week:
– The Other Paper
– Columbus Alive